Teacher, ex-student are reunited in class

He was the class chatterbox.

She was the fifth-grade teacher who wanted students to try their best and be respectful.

Now, they’re sharing a classroom again. But this time, Jennifer Bozard and Alan Aumann are both the teachers.

“I can’t call her Jennie,” Aumann said. “She’s Mrs. Bozard.”

The two are team teachers in a class of 21 third-graders at Garrison Mill Elementary School in east Cobb County. Working together comes easy to the pair, who have known each other for 14 years.

Aumann was just a few classes away from finishing a math degree at Kennesaw State University when he decided he wanted to teach. When it was time to gain experience in the classroom, the Lassiter High School graduate didn’t think twice about asking his fifth-grade teacher.

Bozard was eager to help.

“What a wonderful opportunity to be a part of his education a second time,” said Bozard, now in her 19th year of teaching.

When Garrison Mill had a job opening, Aumann was a natural fit, said Principal Paula Huffman.

“I was definitely blessed to get a job,” Aumann said. Many of his fellow graduates are still seeking work.

But for both Bozard and Aumann, teaching is more than just a job. If you think there’s more free time when two teachers are in the class, think again.

“We never just sit while the other is teaching or working in groups,” Bozard said.

Aumann handles the math and science lessons, and Bozard tackles the language arts. Together, they identify specific children’s needs, and they welcome the help from each other.

“It’s not just getting along,” Bozard said. “He has that ability. I didn’t have to train him. I didn’t have to direct him.”

Aumann says that’s partly because he’s never forgotten the rules from Bozard’s classroom after all these years.

“Some things have been the same since I was there,” Aumann said. “I bought into it. She doesn’t allow for failure; she doesn’t allow for you not to try.”

She also doesn’t allow students to know her real age, Bozard said. When students recently asked Bozard’s age, it was Aumann who responded, without thinking twice.

“She’s 29,” he said, shocking some students. “She’s been turning 29 since I was in fifth grade.”